Netflix Is Getting Serious About Ending All of That Password Sharing

You may no longer have access to your ex's account.

i care a lot, peter dinklage
'I Care A Lot' | Netflix
'I Care A Lot' | Netflix

The days of hanging onto your ex's Netflix password long after you have broken up may soon be over. According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix is trying to curb the long-held tradition of password sharing with a new feature that will catch people in the act.

Now, as the website Gammawire noted, some who are watching with a shared password will be met with a screen asking "Is this your account?" If it is indeed an account you pay for, you can "verify" that you're the person intended to be watching via a code sent either via text or email. You can also "verify later," which gives you a little time to continue bingeing Murder Among the Mormons before you're forced to get your own account or reconnect with a past love to beg for their code. A Netflix spokesperson told THR that the "test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so." Apparently, one-third of all Netflix users have shared their password to others outside of their household.

In August of last year, Netflix introduced a "Watch Free" option, where people without an account can watch a handful of original movies and TV shows before ponying up for a subscription. Even more recently, the company ended its free 30-day trial period for new users. All of this now seems like small steps toward this password crackdown. This new system—which is still in its early stages—isn't a foolproof way to prevent passwords from getting passed around, but it's possibly the start of a new era.

Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.